Oz and NZ. Must spend $500 though.
Some awsome prices.
I have been on the same Mantra's for 4 seasons now-holding up very well. Coming from a narrow front side ski (All Stars) the Mantra was a revelation-this is just a great ski in just about every condition, and a pretty good powder board. But there are so many skis out there, and it is obvious that the Mantra has fallen out of favor (SJ used to love these skis) . One thing that has me confused is how folks used to rave about how great they were in the crud due to the bomb proof construction and metal top sheet-now that is one of their weaknesses (?). I don't get it, I point those things though the cut up and they always turn up-I can remember only 2 times when they did not (packed some goggles!!)
I am looking for a Mantra replacement myself-sounds like there many to choose from-the Mantra still a great ride however. The 170 has worked very well for me 5'6" 155 lb.
the more metal a ski has, the easier it is to bend. an owner has to beware. if you stick the tail in firm snow and apply tension, it would sure bend if the snow didn't give first. a fiberglass ski might just break instead, but that is speculation. buy it from Backcountry.com and get a lifetime warrantee, that solves the bending problem.
I went from the Explosiv to Shogun. The Shogun is a nice ski. More forgiving than the Explosiv, but not as happy on the ice.
each pair of explosiv's can have slightly different flex, and in every case are very stiff, much stiffer than the Shogun, but that's where the Shogun is more agile and energetic. I have a pair of Explosiv's that someone traded me that are so stiff, I only use them on ice/rock days as they are like new and with that stiffness will hold on most any ice.